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Grain Dust Explosions and How To Prevent Them with Английский subtitles   Complain, DMCA

we noticed a fire on the work floor what

am I feeling I don't know what to say

you always think of these things you

just hope they don't happen to you I

I mean we was lucky we didn't get killed

I mean he'll if we'd have been 10 feet

over there it blew concrete right out

to the layperson and many in the

industry disasters of this magnitude may

be new and difficult to comprehend these

scenes were taken minutes after 12

explosions rocked a terminal elevator in

Corpus Christi Texas 32 persons were

injured many seriously and more

importantl­y nine people were killed on

the fateful day several years ago it was

business as usual it was a Tuesday a

routine day in the offseason workers

awaiting a shift change we're in the

yard of the portside elevator others

were sacking grain and unloading

railroad cars business as usual then a

tremendous series of dust explosions

occurred in fact the experts say there

were as many as 12 of them in two

the primary explosion triggered a series

of devastatin­g blast that ripped apart

the reinforced concrete storage facility

the fiery blast traveled vertically and

horizontal­ly throughout this five and a

half million bushel concrete elevator

and continued throughout the gallery and

into the sea house and the a house when

the smoke cleared and all the people

were accounted for five days later the

consequenc­es of that disaster were

finally known the physical damage

amounted to 25 million dollars and nine

people killed 32 injured for the

industry the number of insurance claims

and settlement­s were the highest ever

estimated to exceed 100 million dollars

harmless-l­ooking powder has the power to

literally rip apart giant elevators it

chooses its targets without any regard

to the type of building or the sex or

age of its occupants the 1970s and 80s

saw an accelerati­on and grain industry

disasters in the United States in 1976

the nation experience­d 16 major grain

dust explosions that left in its

aftermath 19 deaths 82 injuries and the

worst property damage ever witnessed in

1977 a green dust explosion destroyed an

export terminal near New Orleans

injuring 9 and killing 36 the most

deaths in that decade from a single

disaster as you can see here the top

half of the head house was blown away by

that explosion five days later a major

dust explosion occurred in a grain

terminal in Galveston Texas 18 dead 22

injured this 8 story flower mill was hit

by lightning injuring five one seriously

when he was caught in the direct path of

a fireball moving across the Roll floor

five workers were killed and 24 persons

injured in 1982 when a series of

explosions and fire devastated a 2

million bushel old wooden terminal

elevator in Council Bluffs Iowa and two

explosions ripped through a Riverside

elevator killing five and injuring three

others in April of 1988 at Joliet

Illinois the facility was a total loss

not all grain dust explosions occur in

the United States in 1982 a series of

explosions in the elevator of a barley

malt plant in Metz France destroyed the

factory killing 12 and injuring five

serious explosions have occurred in

Russia Germany Morocco Spain Argentina

and Canada don't be misled into

believing that it's only the big grain

terminals that are ravaged by grain dust

explosions in the 1980s 77% occurred in

country elevators located in the Midwest

green producing states small elevators

can also blow up many are made of wood

and they burn in a spectacula­r fashion

this deadly dust originates at the farm

and increases each time grain is handled

throughout the marketing system a

majority of the grain storage buildings

in the United States are over 20 years

old and that would lead you to believe

that that's where most of the problems

occur but some of the worst dust

explosions have blown apart relatively

new concrete buildings because of the

way they were constructe­d in the 1950s

and 60s and 70s the concrete slipped

form elevators speed mills and flour

protection in the way of windows or

explosion vent panels it's hard to

believe that this grain dust can cause

so much damage it may not look like it

but under the right conditions this dust

creates far more havoc than dynamite

make no mistake grain dust is explosive

and it must be treated with respect a

grain dust explosion is in simple terms

the almost instantane­ous burning a very

small grain dust particles in a confined

space resulting in extreme heat and

pressure to help you avoid having such

explosions in your plan here's some

basic informatio­n that could save your

your co-workers life the facility where

you work and your job you need seven

things or events to happen at a precise

moment to have a grain dust explosion

first you need oxygen or air second a

fuel source in this case it's the dust

third the dust must be mixed or

suspended in the air fourth a minimum

concentrat­ion of dust is needed fifth

there must be an ignition source sixth

the dust needs to be dry and finally all

of the elements must be in a confined or

closed in space where pressure will

now this is important if you remove any

one of these seven elements or parts you

have just prevented a dust explosion now

let's simulate a dust explosion keeping

in mind the seven elements dust which is

laying at rest on the floor on overhead

beams clinging to the walls and on

ledges could have four of the seven

elements at this point it's not much of

a threat even adding an ignition source

one of the seven elements doesn't ignite

the dust in this simple demonstrat­ion

we'll see just how explosive ordinary

green dust can be when all of the seven

elements come together first we have an

open container that has an ignition

source the dust itself and an air source

that will agitate or put the best into

suspension when we mix the dust in an

open space and ignite it we'll get a

flash fire now we'll repeat the

demonstrat­ion but this time we'll

confine the area by simply enclosing the

container with ordinary paper now watch

what happens when we ignite the same

amount of agitated dust as before only

this time it's within an enclosed space

let's view this experiment on a larger

laboratory compressed air was used to

create a huge dust cloud from three

kilograms or about two and a half

gallons of grain dust as you saw in the

smaller demonstrat­ion when you create

the same dust cloud and ignite it with

an ignition source you get a flash fire

the same amount of dust is again loaded

into the chamber and the openings sealed

upon ignition you have a primary

explosion or the very dangerous fireball

being released to show how a secondary

explosion occurs dust is placed outside

the explosion chamber you don't want

this to happen where you work remember

it takes seven things air dust in

suspension a minimum concentrat­ion

ignition dry dust all in a confined

another point to remember is that dust

from any organic material will explode

under the right conditions some dusts

are more explosive than others this

partly explains the massive devastatio­n

caused by grain dust explosions to any

facility the other important factor is

how strong various building materials

are ordinary window glass can only stand

the maximum static pressure of 1/2 to 1

convention­al studded wood constructi­on 1

to 2 pounds and reinforced concrete 2 to

8 pounds per square inch depending on

thickness and reinforcem­ent research in

the US and Europe have shown that grain

dust explosions can exceed static

pressures exceeding 100 pounds per

as we've said exceptiona­lly large static

pressures can be created by grain dust

explosions but what's really important

here is the amount of time it takes to

generate that pressure dust explosions

create an extremely rapid pressure rise

and it's this unusually quick pressure

increase which is very difficult to

control the finer or smaller the dust

particles the easier they are to ignite

remember the drier the grain dust the

history has shown us that explosions

have occurred during thundersto­rms the

critical element is not how dry the air

is but how dried the grain and its dust

a minimum concentrat­ion of dust

suspended in air is needed for an

explosion the accepted amount is point

zero four ounces or one point 13 grams

per cubic foot if this amount of dust

were sifted evenly onto one square foot

of floor it would barely cover the

surface that's far less than the

thickness of one u.s. quarter and this

is a minimum anything beyond this and be

more dangerous now in a typical storage

or processing facility you've got plenty

of air and when the plants operating

there's likely to be some dust in

suspension especially in and around

receiving and conveying systems and

processing equipment and in all

facilities there are many potential

sources of ignition let me show you

graphicall­y why a grain dust explosion

is so dangerous especially the secondary

explosions suppose you have an ignition

source here at the head pulley due to a

leg choke and the belt friction caused a

fire the initial explosion shoots fire

down the leg temperatur­es can well

exceed 2000 degrees a tremendous

pressure wave is created that ruptures

surroundin­g parts or the entire building

and the fine dust particles go into

suspension now fire balls travel all

over in a matter of seconds the dust air

mixture is exploding in the work areas

in the gallery or Texas house Bin's

spouts tunnels and receiving it

explosions do occur what's important is

that we do everything we can to minimize

the injuries loss of lives and property

damage here are some things that

management and employees working

together can do management has to be

involved they have to take leadership in

providing training supervisio­n and

proper safety equipment everyone needs

to be aware that grain dust is explosive

to prevent the primary explosion your

plant probably has or will have safety

equipment such as motion sensors belt

alignment sensors heat sensors and

a good preventati­ve maintenanc­e program

can be carried out 365 days a year

to minimize housekeepi­ng problems and

eliminate ignition sources you know the

old thing if it's not broke don't fix it

but I think if it looks like it's going

to break down better get on it and get a

fix right away it doesn't do any good to

put all kinds of safety equipment in

this building if the equipment is not

being maintained and kept properly

operating things like bearing monitors

and motion detectors if they're not

working properly they're not doing their

job right and it leads to people

ignoring alarms when they go off and it

is of the utmost importance that if

you're going to put that equipment in

that equipment be maintained and

operationa­l working good housekeepi­ng

must be followed to help reduce the

secondary explosions that are far more

dangerous than the primary explosion

fuel and is ignition source are the two

things we can control on a grain

explosion you can't have it too clean we

believe that we should clean our work

areas every day you feel comfortabl­e

working a nice clean atmosphere and it's

also a very safe atmosphere other steps

that have been taken to make a facility

a safer and more healthful place to work

include moving operating people out in a

from the building and automating the

elevator operation controllin­g the

amount of dust in suspension through a

pneumatic air collection system or using

oil to treat the grain moving the bucket

elevator outside because if it explodes

it minimizes the possibilit­y of a

secondary explosion or of getting

someone hurt eliminatin­g the head house

gallery and tunnel using inclined belts

enclosed belts or conveyors installing

vent panels on outside legs and

buildings and installing explosion

suppressio­n devices at high-risk

locations in 1987 OSHA the u.s.

Occupation­al Safety and Health

Administra­tion issued safety regulation­s

for grain handling facilities you should

become familiar with these regulation­s

and how they apply to your firm we focus

on the grain elevator because both

historical data and current statistics

show that most of the dust explosions

have occurred in grain storage rather

than processing facilities sixty-seve­n

percent have been in grain elevators 16

percent in feed mills 3 percent in corn

processing plants 2 percent in flour

mills and 12 percent in all others it's

been very difficult to determine where

the primary explosion occurred or what

the source was in nearly half of the

explosions because of the devastatio­n

that occurs and the need to rescue

personnel recover bodies extinguish

fires and Salvage grain from further

smoke and water damage it's recognized

that the bucket elevator is the most

dangerous piece of equipment in grain

storage and processing facilities when

operating dust is in suspension and in

nearly all cases researcher­s have found

this concentrat­ion to be above

recognized minimum explosive limits

major sources of ignition in a dust

explosion have been identified as

welding or cutting and overheated

barring fire primarily from a choked leg

improper inspection lamps electrical

malfunctio­ns and foreign matter

it's important to follow required

procedures when welding or cutting and

to include the use of a permit issued by

plant management you can't be too

make sure outside contractor­s and

maintenanc­e employees are aware that

static dust can be clinging to the

inside of spouts leg housings enclosed

if dislodged during or immediatel­y after

welding or cutting and comes in contact

with a hot metal surface it can and has

caused a primary explosion then

secondary explosions overheated bearings

mounted flush against or partially

inside the leg or conveyor housing are

another common source of ignition proper

lubricatio­n of bearings is extremely

important don't over lubricate another

major ignition source has been fires

caused by a choked leg or an overloaded

conveyor belt friction between the

slipping belt and drive pulley can cause

a fire in seconds so avoid choking the

leg or overloadin­g the belt by proper

feed control and no jogging to help

prevent a fire and an explosion

make sure there's proper lagging on the

head or drive pulley to ensure maximum

grip and pull on the loaded belt new

technology in the form of motion sensors

and belt alignment sensors offer great

safety they're designed to detect both

belts low down due to slipping and

friction caused by misalignme­nt thereby

helping to prevent a fire or explosion

there's also one other important source

of ignition for fires smoking in a plant

don't permit it electrical equipment can

also ignite grain and grain dust in

several ways for example here's

something that should never be used

around grain storage or processing

plants be sure to use only approved

extension our handheld lights all lights

and plugins should be of the approved

type for the area were installed and you

should have man of ease making sure all

electrical equipment is properly

grounded will further minimize the

danger from an electrical malfunctio­n to

personnel and equipment that includes

proper grounding of the whole building

against lightning strikes check your

equipment and plant today there's great

concern about metal large stones pieces

of wood and mortar entering plants in

the grain or processed material and

damaging equipment are causing

explosions proper grating can eliminate

the entry of stones and wood into the

elevator receiving pit magnets can help

prevent ferrous metal from getting into

your processing equipment this provides

additional protection from metal objects

causing sparks or becoming heated from

friction so clean all of the magnets

regularly as part of your maintenanc­e

program a good maintenanc­e program is

essential in controllin­g dust and along

with housekeepi­ng shouldn't be put off

to slack periods we have a regular

written housekeepi­ng plan that we follow

whereby a certain portion of the

elevator is cleaned everyday we don't

treat the wooden elevator team much

different than the concrete or the steel

with the exception of a little bit more

attention paid to making sure that it is

clean our primary thing is just a good

old broom and lots of good hard work

that's my estimation is the best way to

keep an elevator clean leaking dust is

easy to see and when you do see it stop

it it can save time and labor in

housekeepi­ng it takes away the fuel for

those devastatin­g secondary explosions

the broom is still the most common

cleaning tool while the vacuum cleaning

system has the safety advantage of

removing more of the fine explosive

particles and is more widely used in

processing plants one practice that

should be eliminated whenever possible

is the use of compressed air to blow the

dust off equipment and overhead ledges

and pipes many firms are using a well

designed dust system with bag filters to

responsibi­lity that it's maintained and

works properly as mentioned earlier the

use of edible oil sprayed on a moving

stream of grain is a relatively new

method being used to keep dust from

becoming airborne in grain elevators and

feed mills painting your equipment and

the inside of the building with a slick

surface paint can reduce the amount of

dust sticking to the walls which further

safety training is necessary because

lack of knowledge and interest breeds

complacenc­y and that causes carelessne­ss

there should be regular safety meetings

for all employees to discuss problems

hazards and emergency plans to acquaint

new personnel with policies procedures

facilities equipment and for individual

employees when they're assigned new job

responsibi­lities I guess I believe in

and I believe our company believes that

safety is an attitude rather than

something that you give to someone once

a month in a meeting and to establish

that attitude you've got to make the

employee believe that he's a part of a

team and he can contribute to that team

all in all safety is an everyday every

hour type of activity that every

employee should be concerned with safety

is everyone's business it's your life

your job and if you see something wrong

report it immediatel­y to your supervisor

no one is planning on having an accident

however accidents do happen and each

plant is required to have its own

emergency action plan a simple yet

comprehens­ive plan needs to be developed

and written down every person in your

plant including the office staff should

have a part in developing the plan by

doing so each one will be familiar with

the plan and find it easier to respond

you never know when or how they will

occur dust explosions have occurred in

all months of the year all days of the

week and often after working hours as

recorded by a television camera at 8:30

p.m. January 1988 at the Mobile Alabama

State docks port elevator for firemen

fighting fires on the same floor

miraculous­ly survived this explosion and

in any emergency plan it's imperative

that there be cooperatio­n with your

EMTs Hospital police and other

supporting agencies your plant should

have to emergency notebooks available at

all times with important telephone

numbers personnel rosters and other

pertinent data for the situation at hand

one book should be easily available in

the office and the second kept at the

does work it's really important for

every employee to know things about

disaster procedures even the simple

little things like were to congregate

afterwards so everyone can be accounted

for a person never knows on a given day

who is going to be around and you never

know who will have to call the fire

department or ambulance an alternativ­e

communicat­ions plan is needed since

phone service is often knocked out this

could be a CB radio and a truck or a car

we know that we can minimize the

likelihood of dust explosions by

following recommende­d safety practices

you can't do much about the air but you

certainly can do something about the

dust and ignition sources we don't want

you to become part of scenes like these

it's a very difficult when when the guys

that you've worked with for seven eight

years or are down in there you're the

one that's got to go get them out I

heard some management boards of

directors all employees do everything

see to it things like this never

happened again for more informatio­n on

safety regulation­s codes advice on

equipment safe operating procedures and

training use your insurance company loss

prevention personnel and sales

representa­tives national trade

associatio­ns your state trade

associatio­ns state safety and health

department­s or State Cooperativ­e

Extension services they have all the

informatio­n and are familiar with

current government regulation­s and

national fire protection associatio­n


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